New Delhi, Dec 31 (PTI): Indian women’s hockey team skipper Rani Rampal feels their memorable run at the Tokyo Olympics has taught the players to perform under extreme pressure.
Speaking on the podcast ‘Hockey Te Charcha’, the 27-year-old opened up on the team’s record fourth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics, while also reflecting on the year gone by.
“2021 proved to be a good year for us. We could have won a medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games. We will always feel the pain of not being able to do that because we were so close. It was hard to accept it at first,” she said.
“But we finished 12th in 2016 when we went to Rio Olympics and this time at Tokyo Olympics we finished 4th. So, it has been a big growth for women’s hockey.”
The Indian women’s team narrowly had missed out on a historic bronze in Tokyo but recorded its best-ever performance at the Olympics.
“When we returned, the Indian fans appreciated our efforts. We felt that we did something good that fans are giving us so much love and respect. This gives us confidence to do even better in future.”
She further went on to speak about how the team gained confidence from 1-0 win over Australia in the quarter-final and felt they could beat World No 2 Argentina in the semi-final to earn a podium finish.
“I feel 100 percent we could have won the semi-final match against Argentina. We took an early lead in the match and put them under pressure. We executed everything coaches told us but conceding PCs cost us,” Rani said.
“But I think it was a huge learning experience for all the players in the team who will get an understanding of how to remain calm in knockout matches of big tournaments. We will surely get better the next time.”